Courtney Pine, musician

Knowledge is power

Saxophonist Courtney Pine wants to get a conversation going

Why are you supporting our Stronger Knowing More campaign?

It’s very important to me to support this campaign because the more of us from diverse backgrounds that support it, the better the awareness for the campaign there will be. I’ve also had many friends that have had prostate cancer, so that’s why I’m here.

Where do you draw your strength from?

I draw my strength from music. I draw my strength from my instrument, the saxophone. It makes me feel a better person when I perform, when I practice and when I play. I also draw my strength from my cultural background, from knowing the struggles that we have gone through as people and we’re still here, innovating, trying to contribute to the United Kingdom.  That’s where my strengths come from. From who I am as a person.

How can knowledge make you a stronger person?

Knowing more about yourself and how you fit in to your community is very important. The more we talk and share our experiences, the more knowledge we'll all have of issues such as prostate cancer. Whether you’re going out to a comedy club or playing in a band, you can still have that all important conversation about your health with your relatives.

Why do you think it’s important to raise awareness of prostate cancer and the risk in particular to the black community?

Well most black men don’t realise that they have a one in four chance of getting prostate cancer. For some reason, the knowledge is not passed on. I think it’s important that we do raise the awareness of this disease. Knowledge is power.

I can remember personally hearing conversations in the barber shop about prostate cancer where it would be brushed aside like hair on the floor.

I think it’s very difficult for black men to talk about prostate cancer because we don’t really go to the doctor. We’re a culture of people who ignore things, because being ill is a sign of weakness.  And we have had to be so strong for such a long period of time.

I can remember personally hearing conversations in the barber shop about prostate cancer where it would be brushed aside like hair on the floor. It was like it didn’t exist. And so many guys in the room hearing this conversation would almost cringe, but not contribute. And I think that’s due to a lack of education about what prostate cancer is. I’m hoping that generations younger than me will now be able to understand more about this disease and how important it is to know about your risk.


How to become stronger knowing more

Darrell, Oscar and Tony

Learn about your increased risk of prostate cancer

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If you're a black man over 45, you should speak to your doctor

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Stronger Knowing More - Information Pack

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Cancer is a word I won’t run from

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"We’ve got to face up to it. This disease is affecting us, and the people around us, so we have to now try and be self aware of what’s going on, what our risk is and how we can treat it and eliminate it."

Read Linford's story